Is free college possible?

Sep 2018
cleveland ohio
The reason why college is so inflated is because of the federal government involvement.
You have made a claim now you have to prove it, it infiltrated because smart people, concious people are on the left, right wing people are all about self interest power and stupidity or tradition, smart people gravitate to new ideas and knowledge ..amd that threatens people like you so you want to destroy what you dont understand
Dec 2018
this is common and sensible reasoning it is very logical, HOWEVER it is flawed by real world examples, radio tv cable movies all were supposed to make news papers obsolete , libraries were supposed to be made obsolete by the internet , never happens, i dont know why so many people here are anti university, they are too exmpensive, problem easily solved sim0ly make them free as they are back home
I’m not anti university. But why would wouldn’t you want to learn X from the best lecturers? Traditional classrooms don’t scale, but with technology, we can scale the best classrooms and up the bar. And we can do it cheaper.

It’s not just that folks are paying too much for their degrees, it’s that they’re often not getting a quality of education that could be attained at a twentieth of the cost through already available digital learning tools.

I’m a huge fan of continuing adult education and I’m learning more now than I ever did in school using the best digital sources I can find. Some are free, some I pay for, but even the paid lectures are a fraction of the cost of college tuition. If I could go back in time and do university over, I wouldn’t take a single class that covered material I could just read or watch myself, but would focus my class time on things with labs - things I couldn’t afford to do on my own - or things like language classes where the immersion environment and conversation with a variety of speakers is hard to simulate outside a classroom (though technology could address this). I would test out of everything else. When I think how much time universities spend just going over reading material or sitting and listening to talking heads... There’s no reason all that couldn’t be delivered cheap with the world’s best lecturers.

Blockbuster is gone, though, right? And look at how Netflix is able on $15 a month to pick up and continue producing shows that the networks have to cancel. Show a kid network TV where they can only watch when a show is on the schedule and it keeps getting interrupted with commercials and they’ll ask ‘daddy, why’s the TV broken?’ Newspaper readership is down. Some of these things take a biological solution... the generation stuck in the old paradigm has to die.

I don’t listen to the radio. Can’t skip songs I don’t like and I detest commercials. Radio hasn’t died, but there are far fewer independent stations because the ad revenue isn’t what it was because listenership is down. I don’t subscribe to newspapers either... have plenty of sources of information, and don’t need to pay for a daily delivery of material I’ll probably never get to ad I’m saturated with more material now than I can read in several lifetimes. I’m not as pessimistic as you that these things aren’t dying.

Brick and mortar libraries could die and probably will, but a number of factors slow that process: 1) there’s still a shocking number of books that haven’t been digitized, 2) many books that were digitized early are to this day riddled with OCR and formatting errors that make for annoying reading, 3) library digital resource checkout often makes one use a web browser which isn’t as convenient or enjoyable as dedicated reading apps, 4) there’s still a lot of people alive who aesthetically prefer ‘books’ (biological solution again) and 5) they haven’t found a paradigm for not making people wait for digital resources to be checked back in as if they’re real books and 6) not all children have digital devices and kids books are a huge part of the library business.

(How much money would be saved with a single national digital library instead of paying for tons of books to just sit on physical OR virtual shelves all over a country? And paying people to put the books on the shelves, etc.)

I am old school in that I still buy albums instead of subscribing to a music service. Because my musical tastes aren’t well represented on any subscription service. But the moment lossless FLAC downloads became a standard option, I stopped buying CDs.

‘Make em free’ still means the taxpayers fund it, or employer funds it or whatever, and why are we signing up for funding such a inefficient model that produces such inconsistent results? I’m pro university, but I think the way we do university needs to flip.

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Likes: Sabcat
Dec 2018
this is common and sensible reasoning it is very logical, HOWEVER it is flawed by real world examples, radio tv cable movies all were supposed to make news papers obsolete , libraries were supposed to be made obsolete by the internet , never happens, i dont know why so many people here are anti university, they are too exmpensive, problem easily solved sim0ly make them free as they are back home
Postscript: when I think back to my own time in college, there were times I had to wait for a class I needed to be offered, times I couldn’t get into a class because it was full, times when I couldn’t take a class because it conflicted with my schedule and times I ended up taking a class I didn’t care about because of a combination of the above factors making my actual preferences unavailable.

All of these problems would be solved by embracing on demand digital learning as the main delivery mechanism for lecture courses.

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Likes: Sabcat
Jul 2018
Trump World! Where the circus is always in town.

It does.

What do you think would stop a person from achieving that?

I have had $333 rent with 2 roommates, which is damn near free, community college costs only $1600 per semester full-time, and vocational training that can be found there provides a person with the credentials for a job in the $40,000-$70,000 range immediately upon graduation, or even prior as an apprentice/underling in certain circumstances.
This is overly hypothetical. it does not take into account the costs of staying alive like foods and shelter, transportation. Not everyone can work at McDonald's. Not everyone qualifies for Pell. Some people SHOULD have higher aspirations than community college or state college.

Good grief. There is not one size fits all. You made a decent point but took it to far.
Likes: leekohler2
Dec 2013
Beware of watermelons
I think eventually the internet will replace traditional schools. People will figure out that there’s no good reason to take calculus (or whatever) from whatever second rate hack the community college could afford when they can get almost free lectures from the best lecturers in the world... (no offense to any teachers: you’re all my heroes even though your profession is doomed.)

If our government was serious about affordable education, they’d be focused on making the best digital textbooks and the best video lectures ‘free’ online, where ‘free’ doesn’t mean there are no production costs, but scales out to almost nothing compared to hiring thousands of second rate calculus (etc) teachers.

There will still be a place for facilities where cost sharing is significant: science labs and athletic facilities, for example. But even there, some industry involvement could mitigate the costs. Who is the biggest beneficiary of the high school/college football program? Doesn’t that create fans for pro football and a recruiting pool for pro football athletes? So why not get the NFL involved in supporting football education or just stop offering it if they’re not willing to support it? I know that’s probably pie in the sky, and there’s lots of sports that couldn’t afford to bear the cost of training the next generation (I presume we care about winning lots of Olympic medals and are willing to spend enormous amounts of money inefficiently giving every kid the opportunity to find their gift. ;). But there’d also be more money available for that type of thing if we could cut the cost of books and lectures to something approaching zero.

There’s no reason everyone shouldn’t be able to get the content of a top tier education even if they can’t pay for the ‘experience’ of it. The internet makes content distribution almost free. In a sense the future I’m talking about is already here, but we haven’t adjusted to match. You can watch MIT lectures online that utilize free textbooks - but they won’t give you a degree for it. But that will change as more prestigious institutions dip their toes into degree granting online learning.

Anyway, that’s the ‘flip’ I think will happen.

This is basically the model i have been talking about on here for some time and the one that will develop organically.
May 2018

We already have it. Of course, you and the community have been paying into that social program through tax dollars.

Even aside from that, quite a few private companies provide tuition assistance to employees. If you work 15 hours a week at McDonalds, for instance, then they will pay for you to attend Community College in full--classes, books, paper, pencils, calculator, backpack, everything.
It's still not free. Illustrate how it's free.
Likes: noonereal

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